Editing: Cuts & Transitions 101

The art of editing should go unnoticed to your audience. Of all the quiet talent that goes into the making of a film, the editor is arguably the most important and under-appreciated. The editor's job is to be invisible—or, rather, subconscious. The editor needs to get inside your head and make you feel something without realising why.

FIRST - assess your current knowledge with THIS quiz.

SECOND - watch this film and learn the terminology.

Glossary of Cuts

  • Cutting on action (cutting while there is movement on-screen)
  • Cutaway (cutting to an insert shot and then back)
  • Cross-cutting (back and forth between locations, ex: phone call)
  • Jump cuts (disjointed edits in the same shot or action)
  • Match cut (cut from one shot to a similar shot by either matching the action or composition)

Glossary of Transitions

  • Fade in/out (to/from black)
  • Dissolve (blend shots)
  • Smash cut (abrupt transition)
  • Iris (old-fashioned; circle that opens and closes in camera)
  • Wipes (screen wipes from one side to the other)
  • Invisible cuts (impression of a single take)
  • L-cut (audio transition)
  • J-cut (audio of the next scene starts before you get to it)
Subpages (2): Editing 2 Editing - Part 1